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THE BANGER SISTERS

About The Production
After eight weeks of prep work in January and February of 2001, THE BANGER SISTERS was just four days from shooting when the director of photography had an emergency that would require him to leave the production. Producer Mark Johnson managed to secure a replacement - Karl Walter Lindenlaub, a highly respected DP who had worked on such films as INDEPENDENCE DAY and THE PRINCESS DIARIES - to step in and take over the project. With only a few days to catch Lindenlaub up on everything that had previously been prepped for the film, Director Bob Dolman said he sequestered himself. Lindenlaub and Production Designer Maia Javan in a Santa Monica hotel for a day and night of intensive overview. The trio watched countless films from the ‘60s and ‘70s to give Lindenlaub an idea of their vision. Two days later, they began rolling film.

One of the major changes that Lindenlaub effected when he joined the production team was making the decision to shoot the film in anamorphic rather than the previously planned super 35. The format, which has a wider aspect ratio that cuts out top and bottom but allows for wider shots, has often been used for epic films and increasingly more often in the last 10 years for dramas and comedies. "It's a great way to give it a classic feel without having to be too tight on the actors. I don't think comedy is from extreme close ups, you want to see body language. There's a lot of comedy and drama between Goldie and Susan and Goldie and Geoffrey and you can play a lot of two-shots as a one-shot and see their reactions without having to cut all the time," Lindenlaub says.

The shoot took place over a mere 24 days, which required an elevated concentration on the part of both cast and crew. ‘These are big movie stars who are used to twice the amount of time and much bigger budgets...You couldn't have two cameras shooting millions of feet of film. We had one camera, a very small technical package and that means you have to rehearse and make sure it works without having months of safety nets in editing." Lindenlaub prefers the abbreviated schedule. "You have to commit a little more, which is a nice thing. Films are more personal that way. 20 years ago, people didn't have 100-day schedules all the time. They shot fast, and they played fast as well. When you have this kind of talent, you can do that, they have a great sense for timing. You don't have to have safety nets everywhere. You can play it in one shot."

One of the biggest missions for Production Designer Maia Javan was creating the two completely' different worlds that THE BANGER SISTERS lived in - Suzette's Hollywood life and that of the Phoenix-based, starched and pressed Lavinia. To create the differentiation and develop a visual theme throughout the film. Javan went back to the place that inspired Writer/Director Bob Dolman to write the film in the first place - the graduation of his eldest son. In the screenplay. he had painstakingly described the graduation scene as being filled with hundreds of students in blue robes. She and Costume Designer Jacqueline West weaved that hue. or the lack of it. throughout the film. "We worked toward blue, which was symbolically the phoenix rising from the ashes into the sky...the resurrected self awareness for both of them and the resurrection of their sense of self," Javan says.

In designing the costumes, West worked hand-in-hand with Javan to create the visual separations between Lavinia, who she describes as "trying to fit a mold that she felt was going to be a safe haven for her in life. I made her wardrobe very conservative, almost a little like armor...Lavinia's whole world is beige. There's nothing that's going to rock the boat or shake anyt

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